Stephanie Burgis
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Halfway there...
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Today I finally, finally hit the halfway point in rewriting Congress of Shadows. Whew! The really good news is, when I read it the first time, I thought the first half needed a lot of work and the second half, not so much. Let's hope I still feel that way this time through and it really does take less time to fix my issues in the second half... I started out the Clarion West Writeathon challenge thinking: I'll get all of my revisions finished (including changes that I make based on other people's crits) by mid-August! Now it's 4 weeks out of 6, and I'm thinking: maybe I'll get my own first-pass rewrite done (and be ready to send it around asking for crits) by mid-August!

And yes, I am embarrassed that I told my agent I'd have it to her by then...urk, coughcough, er...

In the meantime, we've been being very healthy people and getting back into an exercise routine. Yesterday, Patrick and I walked an hour through the valley. We ended up first at a lovely farm that sells fresh homemade ice cream (yumyum, chocolate chocolate chip - I licked mine up while watching the donkeys and calves), and then at a pub down the road where Patrick drank cider and watched cricket, and I drank apple-mango juice and tried not to think how long the walk home would be. Today, we just walked through the valley and then I ate Ben&Jerry's chocolate fudge brownie ice cream when we got home. So ice cream has been heavily involved in my exercise routine...

Nika couldn't come with us on either walk, because part of having dermatomyositis is that she's photosensitive and shouldn't go outside between 8am and 4pm every day. However, the absolutely miraculous, wonderful news that made this week infinitely better than last week is: she's feeling better. She's got her appetite back, her skin is healing, and she's suddenly got back her energy. She still isn't back to where she was a year ago, but she's a whole lot closer than we could have imagined just a week ago. We are in awe of her recuperative powers. Last week, when we drove her to the park, we had to carry her from the car to the field, where she lay sniffing the air for twenty minutes before being carried back to the car. Tonight, we took her to the park and she raced around sniffing with other dogs and wagging and begging us to toss her treats.

I can't even begin to express just how good it felt to watch her.

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